There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but the waters can feel choppy out there for the over-40 set.
Dating apps and websites, they tell The Post, have been both a godsend and a nightmare.
“A lot of the problems that older individuals are facing when online dating have to do with their expectations,” relationship coach Marisa T. Cohen, 35, tells The Post. Since boomers and Gen Xers didn’t grow up with social media, they struggle to understand its nuances.
So let these local singles shed some light on the most popular digital dating options. Here’s what they had to say about the best and worst of Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish and more.
Among its younger users, Tinder — which lets nearby singles swipe through each others’ profiles — is traditionally considered more of a hookup app than a place to find a love connection. And while Tinder tells The Post that 38% of users are 35 and older, New York singles in that bracket say they haven’t had the best luck finding love there.
“I’m not a Tinder person — there’s a whole subgenre of bots, hookers and hackers,” says Neal, a 49-year-old divorced dad who otherwise loves the app scene. (He declined to share his last name, lest it hurts his dating prospects.) He says he once may have narrowly evaded a date with a prostitute on the app.
Maria Miliotis, a 49-year-old from Queens, also isn’t a fan. “I’ve had men half my age send provocative messages and d–k pics” on the app, says the twice-married hair and makeup artist.
Consider this the Sadie Hawkins option: It’s set up so that only women can reach out to men. (Unless you’re gay, in which case, anyone can reach out first.)
“Bumble has been my favorite so far,” says Donna Pettigrew Fillweber, a 55-year-old entrepreneur from Pompton Plains, New Jersey. “It’s your choice.”
Todd Kosik agrees. Divorced, 46 and living in Livingston, New Jersey, he believes that having the lady reach out first is much easier than walking over to a woman in a club, which is how he met his ex-wife when he was in his 20s.
Still, just because Bumble is women-driven doesn’t mean that they can let their guard down entirely. Miliotis says she’s noticed her friends’ photos being used in scammer profiles on the app.
This is another popular one among the middle-aged dating set, and for good reason: It’s closely linked to Facebook, a platform that users in that age group are already familiar with. You can opt to log in through Facebook, so you can find potential matches who are in your Facebook friends-of-friends network.
Although Hinge declined to share numbers on its user makeup, several 40-plus New Yorkers we spoke to are fans — and appreciate that their connections are kind of pre-vetted by their friends of friends.
“It’s nice to see what’s out there. It’s exciting,” says Kosik, who says that 75% of his dates come through this app and Bumble.
Kosik says the only drawback to Hinge — although perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise — is that it’s pretty glaring if women don’t respond to his messages in a timely fashion. He says he finds himself losing patience with dawdlers.
“If a woman takes days to respond to a text,” he says, “I’m not interested.”
Plenty of Fish
This website doesn’t share an age breakdown, but the site itself is a dinosaur by digital dating standards. It has been around since 2003 and has singles take a personality test to help match them with people with whom they might have chemistry. The pro is that there are tons of people on it. The con is that there are maybe too many people on it.
“You get ones from the bottom of the ocean messaging you,” Fillweber says. “It’s kind of sad these men think they have a chance.”
In particular, she’s noticed that guys tend to drag conversations out for a long stretch of time on this site — maybe because it’s more desktop-focused than app-based, lending itself to drawn-out exchanges.
“You’re a grown-ass man, ask a lady out if you’re interested,” says this mother of two. “This isn’t pen-pal time.”